Why sustainable style?

Green Silk Maxi Dress from Anthropologie http://shopstyle.it/l/NrpZ

I have 11 pairs of jeans, 14 pairs of shorts, over 100 shirts, 15 pairs of pants, 35 sweaters and jackets (and I live in Florida), over 50 dresses (ranging from sundresses to formal gowns), over 40 pairs of shoes and 12 skirts (this isn’t counting my workout clothes, pajamas, and underwear). All of this fills a large walk-in closest, yet when I look it feels unfulfilling. I won’t wear 75% of it ever again. I don’t even like most of it. There is also an unsettling feeling of anxiousness when I look at the pile. I can’t part with it, I worry that I might need one of the items, that it might come back in style, that it might be just the piece to complete some unforeseen outfit of the future. It’s a possessive draw, that seduces me into keeping more than I need and buying more when I’m out shopping.

When I was pulling things out to count them I got about half through and felt overwhelmed, depressed, and anxious. Pulling more clothes out of my closet made me feel upset- running through my mind were thoughts about all the waste, the money I’ve spent, and the fact that most of it is made from cheap, synthetic material, and probably was produced in a sweat shop. Instead of stopping and closing the door to the closet and putting it out of mind (which is what I usually do), I moved forward and accessed my feelings. Weirdly, at the end of it, after I’d counted it all there was this creepy feeling, this dangerous voice, saying “go get more- it’s mostly junk- just go buy some better stuff”. Yuck! How could I possibly need MORE, yet there it is, that feeling, that desire, that temptation.

When I stared fashion blogging it was because I love style. I love dressing myself in outfits that make me feel good. I love the feeling I get from compliments and admiring glances. It feels selfish and I feel a little guilty admitting it. The truth is the more I desired to make myself a successful fashion blog, the more I was at odds with the accumulation of more clothes, the money I would spend, the feelings it gave, and the worry that it was contrary to my values. I reconciled it with ideas that I would consign things and donate things. I prayed. I talked to God about it, what are these feelings? Am I selfish, am I materialistic, am I a bad person? Yet, he answered me, keep blogging, which seemed at odds to me. I listened and I prayed that he would guide me in the right direction, that I just needed to listen.

Last week I remembered a documentary on Netflix that I watched about three years ago. It was The True Cost, all about the “fast-fashion” and I was compelled to watch it again. As it did when I watched it the first time I was impacted by it. The images and interviews crept into my waking and sleeping thoughts. Last time I pushed away those thoughts, sort of like closing the closet door on my massive collection of clothes, and went back to my usual shopping habits. This time, I knew why the documentary came back on my radar, I knew why all those sustainable fashion companies kept popping up on my Instagram feed, I knew why God was telling me to keep fashion blogging even though it made me feel guilty. I knew the answer to my prayers, I knew that I CAN be a fashion blogger, just one of a different breed. I CAN enjoy my clothes, I CAN enjoy expressing myself through them, and I CAN KEEP my values. I can do this through the world of sustainable fashion. I can show God’s beauty and blessings through clothes that are made the way they should be. Helping lift people out of poverty, honoring their talents, honoring the earth, and doing the right thing.

I hope that you will follow me on this journey! I have a lot to learn and I intend to share with you as I learn it! Share with your friends and tell me about the changes you are making. What's working for you and what isn't? Let's share and do what we can to make changes.